Top 5 Base Layer Leggings & Shorts

Having the right clothing for any outdoor activity can make all the difference in your overall performance by keeping you comfortable, allowing for natural movement and helping to regulate body temperature through insulation or breathability all so you can focus on the trail ahead.  Baselayers are a type clothing specifically designed and made with the latest technical fabrics, weaves and construction to work with the body to do these and come in a selection of tops, pants, shorts and vests to suit a range of requirements and climate conditions to ensure better performance throughout the year.  In order to help you find the right garment for your specific needs this guide will cover what we think are the Top 5 Base Layer Leggings & Shorts for 2015.

Knowing which is the right Base Layer can make a lot of difference especially between shorts and longer pant leggings as the weather may determine which is more suitable or even if a particular garment works better with other layers or not at all.  Base Layer Leggings and Shorts are made to be close-fitting so that they can help support the muscles for recovery, plus work with stretch fabrics so every movement made is completely natural and unrestricted.  The brands that manufacture Base Layer clothing use their own fabric innovations to ensure they perform extremely well to remove abrasion and chafing during movement, some use fibres and weaves for breathability, others for insulation through moisture transport systems but whichever combination is used, it all works to maximum comfort.

Finding exactly which of the available Base Layer Leggings & Shorts best suits your needs can be daunting especially with so many technology names and garment variations to search through so we have looked at our preferred products from this past year to showcase the best.

X-Bionic Run Womens Leggings

55046-500-1The level of detail in the X-Bionic Run Base Layer leggings like all of their products is surprising as every element is taken into consideration.  The main ‘component’ is the 3D BionicSphere System which is used across the entire surface to collect moisture and warmth, then transport it evenly as you move, plus at the lower back to wick away excess perspiration.  The knees have ExpansionKnee and AirConditioningSpots so no matter how much the joints are flexed the fibres retain plenty of warmth while also wicking away excess moisture quickly without affecting skin temperature, similar to the Intercooler ribs on the thighs.  Partial Kompression technology ensures that all of this is able to perform while also snugly conforming to the contours of your body while a specially designed self adjusting cuff prevents slippage or constriction.  The X-Bionic Run Womens Leggings are a great all-round baselayer.

Icebreaker Oasis Mens Leggings

65719-zoomIcebreaker Oasis Mens Base Layer Leggings are made from the popular Merino wool which alleviates the need for a number of weave and fibre types as not only it is naturally extremely comfortable against the skin but is insulating and inhibits odours by breaking down the microbes responsible.  This midweight garment is better suited to cooler conditions and works well as part of a layering system if the temperature is really cold as it is marginally thicker than normal base layers.  Similar to other baselayers this has a slim, snug fit so feels very comfortable and has flatlock seams to remove the risk of rubbing against the skin.

Rab MeCo 120 Womens Shorts

71282-500-1These ladies specific Rab MeCo 120 Womens Base Layer Shorts are designed primarily for warmer weather but work well with other layers for year-round use as well.  The MeCo aspect is an innovative blend of Merino wool and Cocona so is not only very light in weight, but also naturally insulating and breathable so works hard at keeping you dry and either warm or cool depending on the climate conditions.  Due to the Merino it also prevents odour causing microbes from developing so even at your most active it keeps feeling relatively fresh.  A slim fit along with a Hipster cut and elastic waistband (also moisture wicking) allows you to move completely naturally so acts more like a second skin layer than your average item of clothing.  The Rab Me Co 120 Shorts also have low-bulk seams to prevent skin abrasion so it supports and moves with you even when extremely active.

X-Bionic Hunting Light Mens Shorts

Similar to the previous entry in our Top 5 Base Later Leggings & Pants the X-Bionic Hunting Light Mens Shorts feature the same level of technical fabrics but with a few differences.  They have the dual step 3D Bionic Sphere system for targeted moisture transport that ensures warmth and breathability along with a secure and comfortable grip fit from a HipHolder rib construction.  An Innerlap AirConditioning Zone circulates air and cools when you sweat around the things while ISO-Pads retain warmth in key areas during colder weather conditions whilst SoreStopper in the inside of the shorts evenly distributes the warmth while ensuing it stays soft against the skin as you move.

Rab Power Stretch Pro Bib Mens Leggings

71308-zoomWhile not strictly pants or shorts the Rab Power Stretch Pro Bib Leggings are in fact a one-piece style base layer but we have chosen them in case you want the ease of having both a tops and pants without having to search for both.  A major advantage of having a single almost full body piece is that it helps to eliminate cold spots and makes using further layers much simpler.  Made from Polartec Power Stretch fabric means you can easily move with a full range of flex and motion while enjoying a moisture transport system that keeps you warm or cool as needed while remaining dry throughout.  The Rab Power Stretch Pro baselayer also has handy features that includes and chest pocket and YKK zips on the chest so if you need to cool down even further it’s easy to do so.


However you like to be active, whether in the outdoors, inside or a mixture of both one of these Top 5 Base Layer Leggings & Shorts for 2015 will work with your body to give the best performance and comfort experience when you need it most.  If you are still unsure of which base layer may best fit your needs we have given three particular awards to encompass aspects such as affordability and style.

Best Value: X-Bionic Hunting Light Mens Shorts

These baselayer shorts are the cheapest out of the five but also have the most impressive technical features and fabrics that work extremely well at maintaining comfort in ways that few other garments do.  The feel like the designers have thought of everything to keep you dry, comfy and to ensure a lot of movement.

Best Performance: Rab MeCo 120 Womens Shorts

71282-500-1We found that the Rab MeCo 120 Women’s Shorts performed best overall as they work well throughout the year and being made from a Merino and Cocona wool blend means the fabric is very soft to the touch which adds to the overall comfort.  The natural moisture wicking and odour prevention is extremely effective as well.


Best Looks: X-Bionic Run Womens Leggings

55046-500-1When it comes to base layers, fashion isn’t particularly something that is important due to them mainly being worn under other layers but increasingly the designs are incorporating a fair amount of style into them that actually compliments the performance.  The X-Bionic Run Womens Leggings have a nice modern technical look that is clean and minimalist.